Ōpunakē Loop Pathway
This 7km walk takes you around Ōpunakē Lake and across the cliffs, providing views of Te Namu Pa. There are a number of historical sites and points of interest throughout the walk. The lake is popular for boating, swimming and water skiing.
Type of pathway: walking track
Grade of walk/ride: Easy/moderate
Time to complete: 3 – 4 hours
Description/history: The Ōpunakē Walkway is the longest of the formal South Taranaki walks and takes you through beautiful lake and beach scenery. It travels around Ōpunakē Lake and across the cliffs, providing views of Te Namu Pa, Mt Taranaki and the rugged coastline. The lake is popular for boating, swimming and water skiing
Points of interest: Starting at Ōpunakē Lake, which was once a vegetable garden that supplied early settlers, Ōpunakē Walkway heads past the Orimupiko Cemetery (C) and the Armed Constabulary Cemetery (D). The Waiaua River Mouth (E) offers extraordinary views of Taranaki’s dynamic coastline, Ōpunakē Beach (F) has great surf and you can view the Taranaki Bight from the Lion’s Lookout (G). Middleton Bay (H) is a picturesque beach too, but not safe for swimming. History buffs will enjoy the Old Cottage Hospital (B) which was the birthplace of many famous New Zealanders including runner Peter Snell. A battle took place at Te Namu Pa (I) where Wiremu Kingi Matakatea repelled 800 Waikato Māori successfully for an entire month, armed only with a single rifle.
Dangers/warnings/things to be aware of: Please note – Te Namu Pa is on private property. The owners and the Historic Places Trust ask that the area be treated with care and respect. There are open food storage pits and tunnels on the site and these can be dangerous.
Type of footwear required: sturdy walking shoes
Accessibility: Walkers, cyclists, dogs allowed on lead
How to get there: The walk can be started from a number of easily accessible points but if you wish to complete the whole walk, the best place to begin is by the boat ramp at the Ōpunakē Lake on Layard St.
Other contributors: Ōpunakē Lions Club